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North Caroliniana Society 

no. 26 


Form No. A-368, Rev. 8/95 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Sixty Years with a Camera 


Hugh M. Morton 

Together with Tributes to Hugh Morton by Edward L. Rankin, Jr., 
William C. Friday, and Charles Kuralt on the Occasion of His 
Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 1996 


H. G. Jones, General Editor 

No. 1. An nticello: An Essay in / 1978) 

by Edwin M. Gill 

No. 2. The Paul Green I Know (1978) 
by Elizabeth Lay Green 

No. 3. The Albert Coates I Know' (1979) 
by Gladys Hall Coates 

No. 4. The Sam Ervin I Know (1980) 
by Jean Conyers Ervin 

No. 5. Sam Ragan (1981) 
by Neil Morgan 

No. 6. Thomas Wolfe of North Carolina (1982) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 7. Gertrude Spragne C 
by Sam Ragan 

No. 8. John Fries Blair (1983) 
by Margaret Blair McCuiston 

No. 9. William Clyde Friday and Ida Howell Friday (1984) 
by Georgia Carroll Kyser and William Brantley Aycock 

No. 10. William S. Powell, North Carolina Historian (1985) 
by David Stick and William C. Friday 

No. 11. "Gallantry Unsurpassed" (1985) 
Edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 12. Mary and Jim Semans, North Carolinians (1986) 
by W. Kenneth Goodson 

No. 13. The High Water Mark (1986) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 14. Raleigh and Quinn: The Explorer and His Boswell (1987) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

[continued on inside back cover] 

Sixty Years with a Camera 


Hugh M. Morton 

Together with Tributes to Hugh Morton by Edward L. Rankin, Jr., 
William C. Friday, and Charles Kuralt on the Occasion of His 
Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 1996 


Chapel Hill 27514-8890 

North Caroliniana Society, Inc. 
and North Carolina Collection 



This edition is limited to 

five hundred signed copies 

of which this is number 


Copyright 1996 by 

North Caroliniana Society, Inc. 

UNC Campus Box 3930 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-8890 

All rights reserved 

Manufactured in the United States of America 


Sixty Years with a Camera, by Hugh M. Morton 1 


Opening Remarks and Introductions, by H. G. Jones 27 

A Tribute to Hugh Morton, by Edward L. Rankin, Jr 31 

A Tribute to Hugh Morton, by William C. Friday 33 

A Tribute to Hugh Morton, by Charles Kuralt 35 

Presentation of the Award, by Willis P. Whichard 42 

Acceptance of the Award, by Hugh MacRae Morton 43 

Photographs of the Occasion, by Jerry W. Cotten and Keith Longiotti . 45 


At a reception and banquet in the Carolina Inn on 7 June 1996, 
Hugh MacRae Morton accepted the 1996 North Caroliniana Society Award 
for contributions to and preservation of North Carolina's history, culture, 
and resources. Nearly three hundred friends and admirers joined the 
Morton family to congratulate him and to express their gratitude for his 
lifetime of service to North Carolina. 

Again demonstrating his generosity in sharing his fascination with 
his native state, its history, culture, and resources, Morton visually surveyed 
his more than sixty years in photography at a public slide presentation in 
the afternoon in Carroll Hall. From his tens of thousands of images 
recorded since he snapped his first picture at age 13, he selected just 80 (75 
of which are published in the following pages). 

The Society is acutely aware that Hugh Morton's marvelous 
photographs will not be done justice when they are reduced to black-and- 
white postage-stamp sizes required in this publication. However, to the 
extent possible the photographer's original cropping has been preserved 
(thus accounting for the varying sizes and shapes of the reproductions), for 
the artistry of a photograph often is determined by what it shows (and 
from what angle) as much as in its technical quality. 

Much greater justice is done to 400 of Hugh Morton's pictures in 
his and Edward L. Rankin, Jr.'s mammoth volume, Making a Difference in 
North Carolina (Raleigh: Lightworks, 1988). The real justice, however, can 
be seen only in his mammoth photographic archives — a genuine image 
treasury of North Carolina people, places, and events for the past six 
decades — which he plans to have preserved by the North Carolina 
Collection. Eventually, that is, because Hugh Morton at 75 is not thinking 
of retiring. As Charles Kuralt says in his tribute on page 41, ". . . if there 
are any signs that Hugh Morton is slowing down, his friends have not 
noticed ... he just goes on and on. There are ideas that he hasn't thought 
of yet. But he will think of them. We will all know when he does. He 
will send us photographs." 

The North Caroliniana Society is pleased that Hugh Morton shared 
some of his visual memory with its members and guests, and the Society is 
happy to issue this little publication so that others may be reminded of a 
career dedicated to the promotion of interest in and the preservation of 
twentieth-century North Carolina. 



Sixty Years with a Camera 


Hugh M. Morton 


Sixty Years with a Camera 

Hugh M. Morton 

Back in 1988, Ed Rankin and I published a book called Making a 
Difference in North Carolina, and we had a terrible time boiling down 
thousands of pictures to just 400. Now, for this presentation, I am boiled 
down to only 75. It has been brutal, and I may have guessed wrong on 
some of the pictures that I have selected. My wife Julia wanted me to stick 
more to scenic and wildlife pictures, and Dr. Jones preferred people, 
particularly those with a special connection to Chapel Hill. Since Dr. Jones 
invited me to this party, he won. 

The first picture that I took on assignment for a newspaper (the 
Charlotte News) was of Harvie Ward when he won the 1941 Linville Men's 
Golf Tournament (1). This was a very competitive event, and it was a 
surprise to everybody that a 15-year-old kid from Tarboro could win it. 
The newspaperman who gave me that assignment was Burke Davis, now 
a well-known historian. 

Later Burke took me on the football roundup to Duke, Carolina, 
State, and Wake Forest, and at Duke I caught Jimmy Knotts in a picture 
that reminds me of the blues song, "I ain't got nobody, nobody cares for 
me" (2). Well, somebody did care for Jimmy, for he and his two brothers 
were real stars at Duke. 

I loved to take pictures of bands. Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra 
played in the Tin Can in 1941 (3). On the right are Jo Stafford and Frank 
Sinatra, and in the left background is Buddy Rich on the drums. My 
enthusiasm for orchestras was probably one of the main reasons that I 
aspired to be a better photographer, and the experience I had taking 
orchestra pictures under difficult circumstances was great training. 

Benny Goodman was a perfectionist, and I had great admiration for 
him (4). He had the best of swing bands. 


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My first published picture taken in Chapel Hill was of Dr. Frank 
Graham pitching horseshoes (5). He invited me over to his home one 
Sunday afternoon in 1939, and when he saw how uneasy this freshman was 
in the presence of the university president, he challenged me to a game of 

It is fashionable to say one had a conversation with Mrs. Eleanor 
Roosevelt, and I did, when I was introduced to her by President Frank 
Graham and my schoolmate Louis Harris, now a famous pollster (6). 

The next university president with whom I became acquainted was 
Gordon Gray, shown here in center, with President Harry Truman on the 
right and Governor Kerr Scott on the left (7). The picture was taken at the 
Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem on the occasion of the ground- 
breaking for the Forsyth County site of Wake Forest University. 

A third university president that I knew was Bill Friday (8). It is 
amazing how young he looked when President John Kennedy brought 
more excitement to Kenan Stadium than there had been since a Charlie 
Justice football game. That was before Bill's battles with HEW, the speaker 
ban, expansion of the university, and other challenges that aged him only 
slightly. Also in that picture with Bill Friday are Terry Sanford, John 
Caldwell, Carlyle Sitterson, Bill Aycock, and others. 

And I know the present head, the only university president who 
freely admits to bribery and stealing. In 1948, C. D. Spangler, then a 
student at Woodberry Forest, paid a UNC cheerleader ten dollars to pick 
up Charlie Justice's Jersey that had been discarded after being ripped during 
the game with Virginia (9). He now has a keepsake that is absolutely 

Charlie was the most exciting football player that I have ever 
photographed. We show a picture of Charlie Justice making a good run 
against Tennessee in Kenan Stadium (10), and one in shoulder pads in the 
locker room (11). I am delighted that we have movies of Charlie, because 
it is amazing to see 22 people on the field, and suddenly one of them 
weaves his way through all the others to the goal line. 

Duke's Wallace Wade is on the left, Carolina's Carl Snavely on the 
right (12). During Charlie Justice's four years at Chapel Hill, Wade didn't 
win a single game against Carolina. 

The most exciting basketball player in the 1940s was George 
Glamack, the Blind Bomber. He could not see the basket — this was before 
contact lenses and the goggles that they have now— but he could see from 
the markings on the floor where the basket was supposed to be, and he had 
a hook shot that usually went in (13). He held the Southern Conference 
record for scoring. 

We had a UNC baseball coach named Bunn Hearn, a good old boy 







to end all good old boys, who modestly assigned himself Number 1 (14). 
He had a wild pitcher, and during one game the coach went out to the 
mound and said, "Bill, I know you are going to settle down and strike out 
the next three batters. But, Bill, do me a favor and let me get all the way 
back to the dugout before you throw the next pitch." 

The Reverend Horace (Bones) McKinney was the MVP of the 
Southern Conference basketball tournament in the old Raleigh Municipal 
Auditorium in 1942 (15). Later he played for UNC and coached at Wake 

While I was a student at Chapel Hill, the Carolina Magazine sent me 
to Asheville to interview Julia Wolfe, the mother of novelist Thomas 
Wolfe, at the Old Kentucky Home (16). You remember that Tom wasn't 
very kind to his mother in his book, Look Homeward, Angel, and for a 
while she wasn't sure that I was going to be kind to her. But after I'd been 
there for a day, she warmed up, became very friendly, and took me out to 
the cemetery to see his grave. 

Bill Dudley was Virginia's greatest football player, corresponding to 
our "Choo Choo" Charlie. In Kenan Stadium on Thanksgiving Day, 1941, 
he put on his greatest performance, including an 87-yard touchdown run. 
Burke Davis titled the photo in the Charlotte News, "I'm coming, Virginia," 
the title of a swing era song (17). 

Two weeks later came Pearl Harbor, and the United States was at 
war. I didn't go into the army immediately, but I went in fairly soon as 
a combat newsreel photographer. This picture was taken at Guadalcanal 
during a practice landing in preparation for the American invasion of 
Luzon (18). 

Being a U.S. Army movie photographer, I did not bring back many 
still pictures. This young sergeant, Hank Suzuki from Chicago, was our 
interpreter, and every time we had Japanese documents or prisoners, he did 
the interpreting (19). But he was a real security problem, and he had to be 
surrounded by security 24 hours a day for fear that our own people might 
think he was the enemy. He was one of our most valuable assets. 

Three of the happiest days of my life came when I was assigned to 
follow Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, and Frances Langford to shows that they 
were putting on for the troops (20). This was on the island of New 
Caledonia. I rode in the same car with Bob and Jerry for three days, 
during which they were cracking jokes and practicing their lines. It was a 
fun time. Bob is a good friend, and Julia and I still get Christmas cards 
from him. He has visited Grandfather Country Club twice. 

General Douglas MacArthur was really a great one. I had nothing 
but admiration for him. This picture was made of him on the front line 
on Luzon. Everybody else wore steel helmets. He stood there in his 







suntans and scrambled eggs hat (21). Mortar shells were whistling by, and 
the other men were cringing on the ground while MacArthur was standing 
there as straight as an arrow. He set a wonderful example for his troops. 
I made movies of the same event. 

Back in Wilmington after the war, I left town for a week, and while 
I was gone the local folks elected me chairman of the first Azalea Festival 
in 1948. Governor Cherry came down to crown our first azalea queen, 
Jacqueline White of RKO Radio Pictures. He had been in the National 
Guard with a group of Wilmingtonians, with whom he felt he always had 
to have a drink. When time for the coronation arrived, the governor put 
the crown on the queen upside down (22). 

General George C. Marshall was our guest of honor at the second 
festival, and my wife Julia is sitting beside him at one of our dinners (23). 

Arthur Smith is one of my dear friends, and for thirty consecutive 
years he was the singing master for the "Singing on the Mountain" at 
Grandfather (24). He of course wrote the Number 1 banjo song in the 
world, "Duelling Banjos," and the Number 1 guitar piece, "Guitar Boogie." 
He is also a very religious man, and he plugged the daylights out of the 
"Singing" and brought big crowds. Mr. Joe Hartley, the founder and 
chairman of the annual event, thought that his own homemade sign out on 
the highway attracted the people (25). He never did understand that 
Arthur Smith's promotion of the program on television was the reason for 
the huge crowds. 

I took Mr. Hartley to Wilmington to see Hugh MacRae a couple of 
years before my grandfather died. It was the first time this old mountain 
man had seen the ocean. It was quite an experience. At Wrightsville Beach 
he picked up a seashell, dipped up some water and tasted it, and said, "It is 
salty" (26). 










Johnny Cash was one of the stars that Arthur Smith brought to the 
"Singing on the Mountain." Johnny and I were walking across the 
swinging bridge when he noticed that the flag atop our building was a little 
torn. He asked what we did with our old flags. I said that we had a closet 
full of them. He asked if he could have the one that was torn the most, 
explaining that he recited a song called "That Ragged Old Flag," and he 
wanted to wrap himself in our Grandfather Mountain flag. So we gave him 
the worst one we had (27). 

Billy Graham came to the "Singing on the Mountain" and drew the 
largest crowd ever assembled in the mountains (28). U.S. 221 was blocked 
with traffic from Marion to Blowing Rock, a distance of 55 miles. Billy is 
turning over his ministry to his son Franklin, and some people have 
expressed wonderment about that (29). Franklin is known for airplanes, 
riding a motorcycle, and being a gun enthusiast. I told some of the 
doubters that I think Franklin, better than Billy, may be able to reach some 
of the people that really need reaching the most. 

I took a picture at Billy Graham Day in Charlotte, and it is amazing 
how many famous people appear in it (30). Among them are Pat and 
Richard Nixon, Sam Ervin, Everett Jordan, Bob Scott, Strom Thurmond, 
Charlie Jonas, John Connally, George Beverly Shea, Cliff Barrows, and 
Charles H. Crutchfield. 

I don't know if our country has been saved, but if it has, Senator 
Sam Ervin had something to do with it (31). I think that Senator Ervin 
was one of our great leaders. Certainly he was a good friend of mine. 

Governor Hodges made me his state campaign publicity manager 
when he ran for reelection. I went north of Leaksville to get this picture 
of his birthplace (32). Mrs. Hodges, who did not take to this at all, finally 
said, "Well, at least you can say that it was new when Luther lived in it." 
Abraham Lincoln did not have a more humble beginning than Luther 
Hodges. For him to accomplish as much as he did is remarkable. 

This photo I took when Hodges, as chairman of the Southern 
Governors Conference, met with President Eisenhower during the 
integration crisis (33). Governor Faubus was causing trouble in Arkansas. 
Other southern governors were embarrassed, and trying to calm the 
controversy. The president, who didn't want to do it, eventually had to 
send troops to Little Rock, and Governor Hodges did all he could to 
reduce the crisis. 

A few weeks later Ed Rankin and I were in New York when 
Governor Hodges appeared on the NBC "Today" show (34). He was 
interviewed by Dave Garroway. Assuming that a governor from the South 
was a racist, Garroway launched into a tirade before Hodges had a chance 
to speak. When Hodges was finally given the chance, the governor said, 











"You know, Mr. Garroway, I have always believed that the solution to 
these problems is better understanding between the races, and in everything 
I do I try to bring about better understanding between the races. Mr. 
Garroway, what have you done to bring about better understanding 
between the races?" Garroway stuttered, stammered, and turned red, and 
NBC cut away for a commercial. 

Another great day for Governor Hodges and for North Carolina 
was when Carolina played Maryland at College Park in the presence of 
Queen Elizabeth. The governor presented her with a small sterling statue 
of Sir Walter Raleigh (35). 

I like this picture of then Senator Kennedy and Jacqueline, yet I 
don't like Jackie's eyes being half-closed (36). I really like the picture better 
when it is cropped to show only the senator (37). You can see enough of 
Kennedy's face to know who he is, and I think it is an interesting picture. 

Governor Hodges and Senator Ervin campaigned for Kennedy at the 
Greensboro airport in the fall of 1960 (38). 

I guess this is my favorite picture of Governor Hodges (39). I had 
a knock on my door at the lake where we live. Governor Hodges, who 
lived across the lake, stood there and asked me, "Hugh, how about cutting 
this fishing fly out of my cheek?" I said, "Governor, I am not about to cut 
out the fly, but I will take you to the hospital and let the doctor cut it 
out." So we went to the hospital, and while waiting for the doctor to 
arrive, I took this picture so the governor could show it to his children. 

Coach Everett Case of N.C. State brought big time basketball to 
North Carolina, shown here with one of his former players and assistants, 
Vic Bubas, who later became coach at Duke (40). 

The man who really put the ACC on the map was C. D. Chesley, 
who was being honored here by Commissioner of the ACC Bob James and 
ACC drum beater Marvin Francis (41). 










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My favorite Dean Smith picture is this one made right after UNC 
won the national championship in 1982 in New Orleans (42). Except for 
that net around James Worthy's neck, you wouldn't know that Carolina 
had won. Everybody was wrung out and fatigued. 

My favorite picture of Michael Jordan was made in Carmichael 
Auditorium when he played against Virginia (43). He has certainly made 
Carolina proud of him, both while at Carolina and afterward. 

Hargrove (Skipper) Bowles raised more than thirty million dollars 
to build the Dean Smith Center (44). This picture I made of him in 
Philadelphia as he was watching Carolina play Indiana for the 1981 NCAA 
championship, which we did not win. 

A recent picture shows a fellow from Texas clobbering Dante 
Calabria (45). Dante went over to him after the incident and said, "If you 
want to knock me out of this game, you're going to have to hit me harder 
than that." I felt sorry for Dante, but he certainly had the right attitude. 

One of the most terrifying things that I have seen lately was at the 
1995 ACC Tournament when Rasheed Wallace was injured right near the 
end of the game. I was about ten feet away when that happened. He was 
writhing in pain and obviously scared that he might be hurt worse than he 
actually was (46). I am told the incident influenced him to turn pro. 

Mr. Bob Hanes was one of my good friends on the State Board of 
Conservation and Development, and he was very proud that his home 
town of Winston-Salem was honored by names of cigarettes (47). 

Of course, we all remember Chancellor Bob House, who, when 
invited to speak, would say, "Well, I've brought my notes." Then he 
would pull out his harmonica and start playing "Oh Susannah" (48). 

One of our native sons, Andy Griffith, played Sir Walter Raleigh in 
the Lost Colony for six years before going on to greater fame on Broadway 











and in Hollywood (49). 

Tom Davis started Piedmont Airlines, and Bill McGee worked with 
him (50). I was in a meeting not long ago where I was introduced by Tom, 
and I asked for a show of hands of those who wished that Piedmont 
Airlines was still flying. Every hand went up. 

I am really glad that I got two of our greatest UNC benefactors in 
the same picture — Frank Kenan on the left and Watts Hill (51). 

This is Hurricane Hazel in 1954, which I thought was going to be 
the greatest hurricane of all time until Hugo hit a few years ago. Hazel 
was a very stormy thing, and when it came ashore at Carolina Beach, Julian 
Scheer and I were covering it for the Charlotte News. I asked Julian to 
walk through my picture, and this photo won first prize for spot news in 
the press photographers' contest (52). 

During the civil rights disturbances, there were looting and fires at 
Wilmington. The Harlem Globe Trotters' star, Meadowlark Lemon, a 
native of Wilmington, put on an exhibition in every school in New 
Hanover County (53). In no time, he had things calmed down. He is a 
real hero in his old home town. 

Another real hero is Admiral Arleigh Burke, chief of Naval 
operations at the time North Carolina was working to get the USS North 
Carolina (54). He did things to help us that he might have been court- 
martialed for under normal circumstances. He wanted us to save one of 
our nation's great ships. 

When the battleship arrived off Southport in the rain, Governor 
Sanford borrowed a Coast Guard cap and jacket (55). A Coast Guard 
officer came along and said, "Sailor, get out of here, the governor is 
expected aboard at any minute." 

The berthing of the USS North Carolina at Wilmington was one of 
the most tense moments in my lifetime (56). If it did not work we knew 








we had a mighty big ship that would make a formidable dam on the Cape 
Fear River. 

Admiral Arleigh Burke was the main speaker the day when we 
honored the admirals of the North Carolina Navy, the people who had 
contributed so generously to the battleship fund. We covered the whole 
deck with 2,400 "admirals" (57). 

We produced a sound-and-light show, "The Immortal Showboat," 
featuring the recorded voices of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Franklin 
Roosevelt, and other leaders of World War II, along with a history of the 
North Carolina accompanied by sound effects of the ship in battle with 
blazing 16-inch guns (58). It was an extremely patriotic production. 

The day he took office, Governor and Mrs. Dan Moore gave back 
to the battleship its silver service that had been kept in a small cabinet in 
the Governor's Mansion after the ship was decommissioned (59). The folks 
at the Smithsonian made a fine case for it, and the silver has been seen by 
millions of visitors to the ship in its present home on Cape Fear River. 

Orville Campbell was one of my best friends, and he is shown here 
with Rolfe Neill, whom he inducted into the North Carolina Journalism 
Hall of Fame (60). 

Ted Williams, the all-time great baseball player, became friends with 
Orville Campbell at the Navy Pre-Flight School in Chapel Hill in World 
War II. Ted is also a great fisherman, and when he fished for trout on 
Grandfather Mountain Lake, I learned that Ted knows fishing so well that 
he actually thinks like a fish (61). 

Bill Snider and others say that one of my great accomplishments was 
persuading Senator Jesse Helms and Governor Jim Hunt to work together 
as co-chairmen of the Save Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Committee, but it 
really wasn't hard (62). Both are patriotic North Carolinians. They knew 
that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse would be lost unless we did something 
quickly to save it. There was neither state nor federal money available, so 
we needed to raise private money. With them working together, we raised 
$500,000, and had we not done what we did with synthetic seaweed, 
sandbags, and sand fences, the lighthouse would not be standing today. 

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is 210 feet high, the tallest brick 
lighthouse in the world, and it is more than 130 years old (63). The idea 
of moving a structure that tall and that old is totally ridiculous. 

Ed Rankin and Jesse Helms were roommates when they got out of 
school and worked for newspapers in Raleigh. So when Ed and I authored 
the book, Making a Difference in North Carolina, the senator spread the red 
carpet for us in Washington. He took me to the White House, and he 
introduced me to the Republican senators, including John Warner of 
Virginia, who was, I believe, Elizabeth Taylor's sixth husband (64). I tried 









unsuccessfully to get Ed to agree to a caption for the picture in which 
Helms was asking Warner, "Was it Will Rogers or Elizabeth Taylor who 
said, 'I never met a man I did not like'?" 

Governor Hunt appointed me to the commission to determine the 
feasibility of raising the USS Monitor. We went down in a tiny submarine 
220 feet below the surface of the ocean off Cape Hatteras and looked at the 
wreck. I could see that there was no way to save the Monitor. It seemed 
that every submarine chaser in the Atlantic had dropped depth charges on 
the wreck in World War II. There were few pieces larger than this 
rostrum, and those were covered by rust and barnacles (65). It was a thrill 
for me to actually see the historic Monitor. 

Charles Kuralt is probably the most loved and respected television 
news personality in the country. I am proud to call him my friend and I 
am pleased that he is to be a part of the program tonight. This photograph 
was taken on the set of Sunday Morning, which he so successfully hosted 
for years (66). I am glad that he is in the audience for these slides. Thank 
you, Charles. 

You knew that I had to include a picture of Mildred the Bear (67). 
She was the greatest bear that ever lived insofar as I am concerned. Before 
she died three years ago, her only problem was that she did not know she 
was a bear. She thought she was a person. 

Newt Gingrich came to see us last Labor Day weekend, and we did 
not know he was coming. We have another bear, Gerry, almost as nice as 
Mildred, and I think you will notice the claw on his arm (68). He was 
feeding her sliced apples, but he wasn't doing it quite fast enough. So she 
put that paw up there to draw the arm to her more quickly. It got Speaker 
Gingrich's attention. 

Elizabeth Dole is a great lady, and we are proud she is a North 
Carolinian. She was the speaker, as U. S. Secretary of Transportation, at 
the opening of the completed Blue Ridge Parkway on September 11, 1987. 
She at that time congratulated Eugene Figg, the engineer who designed the 
Parkway Viaduct that has won twelve national awards for its beauty and 
design (69). 

To be non-partisan we must include this photo taken at the Carolina 
versus Kentucky basketball four years ago (70). Bill Goldston, who is here 
tonight, had as his guest at the game the governor of Arkansas, Bill 

One of my most treasured recent experiences has been working with 
good people like Tom Sieg, Tom Domer, Tom Howe, and others in the 
production of the PBS program, "The Search for Clean Air." Walter 
Cronkite did a beautiful job as our narrator, and last night I received a Fax 
from him regretting that he could not be with us tonight (71). 









My wife Julia was particularly anxious that I show the scene of a 
little fawn in the Grandfather Mountain forest (72). 

The picture of UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, distraught 
after his defending national champions had been eliminated by Duke in the 
Final Four in Indianapolis, has been a much-in-demand scene by my Blue 
Devil friends (73). I was glad to be of service. 

My most interesting distant landscape was taken in December a 
couple of years ago (74). It is the skyline of Charlotte as seen from the 
Mile High Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain. It has caused quite 
a stir at Charlotte, 87 miles away. Unfortunately, air pollution limits this 
sort of view to perhaps two or three days a year. 

And what better way is there to wind up a slide show than to have 
a beautiful buck Whitetail Deer bounding gracefully through the snow on 
Grandfather Mountain (75)? Thank you all for coming. 





Tributes to Hugh Morton 

Including Proceedings of a Banquet on the Occasion of His 
Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 1996 

7 June 1996 



1978 Paul Green 

1979 Albert Coates 

1980 Sam J. Ervin, Jr. 

1981 Sam Ragan 

1982 Gertrude Sprague Cam-away 

1983 John Fries Blair 

1984 William C. & Ida H Friday 

1985 William S. Powell 

1986 Mary D.B.T & James H Semans 

1987 David Stick 

1988 William McWhorter Cochrane 

1989 Emma Neal Morrison 

1990 Burke Davis 

1991 Lawrence F. London 

1992 Frank H Kenan 

1993 Charles Kuralt 

1994 North Carolina Collection 
1994 Archie K. Davis 

1994 H. G. Jones 

1995 LeRoy T. Walker 

1995 J Carlyle Sitter son 

1996 Hugh MacRae Morton 

Opening Remarks and Introductions 

H. G. Jones 

Friends of Hugh Morton, and those who came to memorialize 
Mildred the Bear: 

When our board members announced last year that they wished to 
bestow upon Hugh Morton the 1996 North Caroliniana Society Award, we 
did not know that we would set off a frenzy among other organizations to 
see who could get to him first. And when Hugh persuaded the Governor 
to proclaim the Year of the Mountains, he did not know that this would 
in fact be the Year of Hugh Morton. He and Julia have been occupied 
much of the past months attending luncheons and dinners such as this, at 
which Carolinians have paid tribute to his commitment and contributions 
to the various causes for which he has dedicated his long career. We'd like 
to think that this will be the highlight of his year, not that the North 
Caroliniana Society Award is more prestigious than any others but because 
we honor him less for a single cause than for the breadth of his service — to 
environmental protection, economic development, historical and cultural 
preservation, travel promotion, photographic recording, and good 
citizenship generally. 

This audience is filled with faces familiar to you all — governor, 
lieutenant governor, congressmen, state legislators, and other public officials 
who would want to make a speech if I recognized each, and enough 
chancellors to settle all of the issues confronting higher education today. 
But most of all, the audience is made up of persons dedicated to the causes 
led by Hugh Morton, and, especially, of people who love North Carolina. 
In the interest of time, I shall recognize those at the head table, all of 
whom you already know, and just two persons in the audience. Will each 
stand and remain standing when his or her name is called, and will the 
audience withhold applause until all have been introduced: From my far 
right, Willis Whichard, Fran Rankin, and Charles Kuralt; and from my far 
left, Leona Whichard, Ed Rankin, our recipient's best friend for more than 
fifty years, Julia Morton, and William Friday; and in the audience, Hugh 
and Julia's daughters, Julia Morton Clement and Catherine Morton. And 
now will you join in welcoming the man whom you all came to see and 
hear, Hugh Morton. Thank you; you may be seated. 

28 H. G. JONES 

Now please enjoy your dinner and table associates. We will return 
after dessert. 

[Dinner followed, after which the presiding officer continued:] 

That each of us has only a finite amount of time in which to 
accomplish our mission on this earth has been soberly impressed upon us 
in the past month, during which time we have lost two of the holders of 
the North Caroliniana Society Award. Sam Ragan died in May, and only 
on Tuesday of this week we lost the incomparable Frank Kenan, who was 
also an active member of our board. Our thoughts tonight are with 
Marjorie Ragan and Betty Kenan and their families. But while too many 
of our recipients have passed on, several are very much with us tonight, and 
I should like to ask each to stand as I call his or her name and remain 
standing, and will the audience withhold applause until all have been 
recognized: Bill Friday (Bill, tell Ida she left Charles without a date), Bill 
Powell, Mary and Jim Semans [who had to leave after the reception], David 
Stick, Lawrence London, Charles Kuralt. And we are always glad to have 
Albert Coates's beloved Gladys, who last month celebrated another 
birthday. We are not going to tell you which one, but we want every one 
of you to put on your calendar the date 19 May six years from now, 
because you will be invited back to celebrate Gladys's centennial. Thank 

Others send their best wishes. As many of you know, Archie Davis, 
one of our recipients and our president emeritus (PE-1, as Bill Friday calls 
him), is in precarious health, and this has been an especially poignant week 
for him with the loss of Frank Kenan, his close friend of 70 years. Still, in 
a weakened voice he sends all of us his thoughts and love on this special 
night to which he added so much during his eleven years as our president. 
The lives of Archie Davis and Frank Kenan have epitomized the spirit of 
the North Caroliniana Society, which seeks substance rather than show, 
performance rather than appearance, public service rather than publicity. 

And now we are ready to add a twenty-second name to the sterling 
silver plate accompanying the North Caroliniana Society Award Cup, 
which sits before us. 

When Ed Rankin conveyed to Hugh Morton our request that he 
allow us to honor him with the 1996 award, Hugh's reaction was typically 
modest: "What I have done to merit a place alongside names like Paul 
Green, Albert Coates, Sam Ervin, Charles Kuralt, and Frank Kenan?" Our 
response was that he qualified for the award on the basis of his contribu- 
tions to any number of causes that will be mentioned here tonight, but that 
if he insisted on our naming just one, we could point to his sixty years of 
photographically recording North Carolina's people, places, and events. 
His is the greatest treasury of visual history of the state in the twentieth 


century, and his tens of thousands of negatives and slides— a small sample 
of which you saw this afternoon and thousands more of which have been 
published in books, magazines, and newspapers— will be used by researchers 
for generations to come when they are preserved in the North Carolina 
Collection. The credit "Photo by Hugh Morton" will live on. 

The original list of potential speakers for this evening was awesome, 
and it included many in the audience. But we had to make a choice of two 
minispeakers and one — if Charles will not take offense— megaspeaker. As 
is our habit, the proceedings of the evening will be published in our North 
Caroliniana Society Imprints series, and before Christmas a copy will be sent 
to all of you. 

One of the injustices of life is that people do not always get the 
credit due them. For example, Ed Rankin's name does not appear on the 
roster of our state's governors. Yet, except in title, he served in that 
capacity when, only two days after his inauguration, Governor William B. 
Umstead suffered a heart attack. The young private secretary ran the 
governor's office, and that experience was crucial when he later performed 
as administrative assistant to Governor Luther Hodges and as Governor 
Dan Moore's Director of Administration. Since those heady days in 
Raleigh, Ed has distingushed himself in the business world and in cultural 
causes not identical to but closely related to those of Hugh Morton. He is 
here tonight because his close relationship with Hugh began on this campus 
and culminated in their joint venture, the monumental book, Making a 
Difference in North Carolina. Hugh's friend, Ed Rankin. 

[Edward L. Rankin, Jr.'s address is printed on pages 31-32] 

I said a few words about Ed Rankin simply because most of you are 
too young to have memory of the days of Bill Umstead and Luther 
Hodges, and some may be too young to remember the administration of 
Dan Moore. But to a North Carolina audience, to give a wordy 
introduction for our next speaker would be silly. Ladies and gentlemen, 
the president of the William Rand Kenan, Jr., Fund, the president emeritus 
of the North Caroliniana Society and of the University of North Carolina, 
and the president or past president of just about every worthwhile 
organization in this state, William Friday. 

[William C. Friday's address is printed on pages 33-34] 

It would be even more ridiculous to take your time for an 
introduction of our main speaker to a North Carolina — indeed, a 
worldwide — audience. Ladies and gentlemen, North Carolina's goodwill 
ambassador who never really left us and who seems to enjoy being back 
with us as much as we enjoy having him return to us, Charles Kuralt. 
[Charles Kuralt's address is printed on pages 35-41] 

A Tribute to Hugh Morton 

Edward L. Rankin, Jr. 

Thank you for the opportunity to participate briefly in this gala 
event. Hugh Morton and I have been friends for more than forty years, so 
perhaps I can help in the introduction of this remarkable man. 

Glimpse One: Imagine, if you will, a 40,000-ton World War II 
battleship swinging on its anchor chain in the Atlantic Ocean near the 
mouth of the Cape Fear River. A mothballed vessel without main engine 
power or crew. The towing company, which was delivering the U.S.S. 
North Carolina to its new Wilmington berth, had screwed up — literally. 
One of the two ocean-going tugs had backed down on its towing line. 

As chairman of the history-making, state-wide campaign to save the 
historic ship, Hugh made the crucial decision to drop one of the 
battleship's bow anchors and allow the two tugs to depart. Would the fair 
weather continue for twelve hours until more tugs arrive? A critical 
decision for a former U.S. Army sergeant who served in World War II as 
a combat photographer. The weather held, other tugs arrived, and the ship 
was safely berthed. This was only one test of Hugh's courage and 
leadership. He later served as the first chairman of the U.S.S. North 
Carolina Battleship Commission. 

Glimpse Two: Government planners made a decision to route a link 
of the Blue Ridge Parkway across and near the top of Grandfather 
Mountain. The Morton family, early Parkway supporters, provided a 
lower route across its property. The National Park Service and the North 
Carolina State Highway Commission insisted on the higher route, which 
would have required huge, open cuts across one of eastern America's 
highest and most beautiful mountains. Never timid, Hugh battled federal 
and state administrators on this location issue for many years. 

Today the nationally-acclaimed Linn Cove Viaduct clings to the side 
of Grandfather Mountain, and leaves undisturbed the mountain's wild and 
natural beauty. A tribute, of course, to Hugh's never-say-die defense of his 
beloved mountain and the environment and his ability to attract support 
from people in all walks of life for doing what he knew was right all the 

Glimpse Three: At UNC-Chapel Hill basketball home games, who 
is that neatly dressed, older gentleman seated on the floor of Dean Smith 


Center? The one who jostles with those grubby young sports photogra- 
phers for the best shot of colliding bodies and flying sweat? Why, it's 
Hugh Morton — loyal Tar Heel and ardent admirer and friend of Coach 
Dean Smith— whose great action photos have recorded North Carolina 
sports for half a century. A man so loyal to Carolina that I am informed, 
on highest authority, he always wears sky blue undershorts when his Tar 
Heel teams are playing. 

Glimpse Four: After following the Tar Heel basketball team to the 
Rainbow Classic tournament in Hawaii, Hugh decided to fly in a tandem 
hang glider from the cliffs of Oahu. There are few such kites — or pilots — in 
the world. While wife Julia watched with a prayer on her lips, the pilot 
and Hugh launched their glider from a towering cliff and soared out over 
the blue Pacific, riding the trade winds for forty-five minutes before landing 
safely on a beach below. Several months later Hugh's pilot was critically 
injured when his passenger panicked at takeoff. 

These are only a few glimpses of the exceptional man we honor 
tonight. If they sound familiar, Hugh, it is because this is essentially what 
I said in introducing you at your induction into the North Carolina Public 
Relations Hall of fame ceremony in 1990 where you were hailed, among 
other accomplishments, as the "Father of North Carolina Photo 

Coastal born and bred, Hugh Morton has also earned the right to 
be recognized as not only a mountain man but a leader in western North 
Carolina. The truth is that Hugh's life and work reflect a deep and abiding 
love of North Carolina — from the mountains to the sea — and its people. 

He is fully qualified to receive the North Caroliniana Society Award 
for extraordinary contributions to and preservation of North Carolina's 
history, culture, and resources. 


A Tribute to Hugh Morton 

William C. Friday 

Before I do anything else, I wish to say to Julia Morton that but for 
you this whole evening would not be taking place. For that reason, I turn 
to salute and applaud you as the greatest force in Hugh Morton's life. 

To do my part this evening, I want to tell a story. Chancellor Fred 
Borkowski invited William Link and his family and Ida and me to the 
Appalachian State University campus for the annual session of the Friends 
of the Library. The Links have three young daughters, Josie, Maggie, and 
Courtney. They had never seen Grandfather Mountain. I called Hugh to 
make arrangements for them to visit, and the following morning we rose 
to make the journey. 

Fog enveloped the peaks of the mountains that morning, and the 
mist was cold as the wind blew. We were not to be stopped, and off we 
went. As soon as we reached the top of Grandfather mountain (and we 
were the only people there at that early morning hour), I turned around 
and there was Hugh pulling up in his car. He took us all into the splendid 
Visitors Center he has there, and everyone went first to the statue of 
Mildred the Bear to rub her claws in a bright, shiny, luster. 

Hugh then took the children and us on a tour of his great Nature 
Museum. They learned of the rocks and minerals of the area, of the 
beautiful plants that grow there, of the Indians who lived there thousands 
of years before, and then wonderful pictures of the animals, especially that 
great photo of the mountain cougar whose eyes follow you all the way 
around the museum. 

Each of us took turn rubbing the stone whose age is estimated at a 
billion years, and before going outside I had to excuse myself to go back to 
the campus for a meeting with the chancellor. 

After I left, Hugh took the children to see the magnificent eagles 
that live there, a dozen or so deer of all ages, and the habitat of the large 
collection of bears that now live on Grandfather Mountain. 

That evening at supper, I sat near Josie and Maggie, and I turned to 
Josie and asked, "Josie, what did you enjoy most today in all that you have 


seen and heard?" Josie answered, "Mr. Morton." 

Noting my amazement, Josie said, "You really wanta know why?", 
her animated face showing the glee behind the question. I replied, "Of 
course." Josie said, "He gave me the biggest French fries they had!" 

So it is, ladies and gentlemen, with our great and good friend. 
Although he can move battleships, rebuild mountains, and save lighthouses, 
he still has time in his compassionate heart to see that his little friend got 
the biggest French fries there. 

Congratulations, Hugh! 


A Tribute to Hugh Morton 

Charles Kuralt 

We may as well start out with the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, and 
get that behind us. 

Hugh Morton invited me to speak several years ago at the 40th 
anniversary celebration of the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, and before I had 
finished my speech, I could tell by his expression that he wished he hadn't. 
This expression was a smile, but a tight and nervous smile, for Hugh is 
very proud of the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, and does not want to hear 
any kidding around about it. And I could not help myself. 

I told the truth, which is that when I first visited the Mile-High 
Swinging Bridge soon after it was built atop Grandfather Mountain in 1952, 
I expected to look down from it into a chasm one-mile deep. But no, the 
ravine it spans is only 80 feet in depth. The bridge is a mile high only if 
you measure it from Wrightsville Beach. 

What is more, the Swinging Bridge doesn't swing. It did swing 
when it was first constructed, but one of those mountain winds came along 
the first winter and turned the bridge inside out and upside down and blew 
some of its planks off and down, down (80 feet down) to the bottom of the 
ravine, and Hugh thought it prudent to affix guy-wires. For more than 
forty years, therefore, tourists, many thousands of them, have paid good 
money at the gate of Grandfather Mountain, driven to the top, walked 
across this 80-foot-high tethered bridge, and then gone home excitedly to 
Iowa to tell their neighbors about having crossed the Mile-High Swinging 
Bridge in the North Carolina mountains. 

Our honoree's promotional skills are legendary. I offer that bridge 
as Exhibit A. 

Hugh Morton is North Carolina's greatest promoter — always, 
however, of things that ought to be celebrated: the natural wonder of his 
mountain, the flaming beauty of Wilmington's azaleas. Or of things that 
ought to be saved: the Battleship North Carolina, the lighthouse at Cape 
Hatteras. Or of things that ought to be changed: the laws which permitted 


disfiguring development on the mountain ridges, the laws which permit 
acid rain to fall, the constitutional prohibition against our governors from 
succeeding themselves in office. Our famous promoter never promotes 

Just once, he tried. On December 1st, 1971, in the shadow of the 
Capitol in Raleigh, surrounded, on a chilly day, by shivering pretty girls in 
shorts wearing "Morton for Governor" hats and carrying "Morton for 
Governor" signs, with Arthur Smith playing "Guitar Boogie" for the 
crowd, with Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice on hand to declare, "I have been 
on Hugh's team all my life," Hugh Morton formally declared his candidacy 
for governor. All of this was duly reported in the News and Observer the 
next day by Roy Parker, Jr. 

What wasn't reported was Hugh's true motive in running — to 
vitalize and professionalize the Department of Travel and Tourism, to bring 
more visitors to the state to gaze upon what Hugh Morton truly regards as 
the glories of North Carolina, glories that should be loved and pro- 
tected — and above all, publicized! 

Well, that day in Raleigh, the Morton campaign had a great 
beginning; it pretty much went downhill from there. Hugh was late 
getting into the race. Many of his friends had already declared for Pat 
Taylor (who is here tonight) or Skipper Bowles. And money was short. 
Hugh had, of course, one source of ready cash: Grandfather Mountain 
could always be sold. Would he trade his mountain for the governorship? 
The question answered itself. Hugh dropped out of the race before the 
primary in the spring. 

But it is great fun to look back on the newspaper clippings of those 
days. H. G. Jones, as is his habit, doing the speaker's work for him on 
these occasions, sent me the stories. From the Greensboro Daily News: 
"Morton Wears Wet Label, But Seldom Bends Elbow"— a wonderful story 
about this near-teetotaler leading the charge for liquor by the drink. "We 
have liquor by the gallon right now," he said. "The whole country is 
laughing at us." As a leader for all those years of the North Carolina 
Travel Council, one thing Hugh Morton could not abide was North 
Carolina being laughed at. His promotion of the liquor by the drink 
referendum succeeded. His effort to promote himself into the governor's 
chair failed. 

It is the only conspicuous failure I can think of in a long and 
accomplished life. He is patient, he is stubborn, and he refuses to fail. Last 
week, I read that as chairman of the "Year of the Mountains" initiative, he 
had been turned down for a million dollar grant to buy up scenic easements 
along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I called to commiserate. "Oh, don't 
worry," he said cheerfully, "We're going to get that money. Don't worry 


about that at all!" Pretty soon, I expect to hear about a million dollars 
being found for scenic easements along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Our hero (and I use the word advisedly; he is a hero of mine) was 
born in Wilmington February 19, 1921, son of Julian Walker and Agnes 
MacRae Morton, and grandson of Hugh MacRae, who started buying land 
in the mountains in 1885, founded Linville, and built the road which was 
the best way to go from Linville to Blowing Rock until the Park Service 
completed the amazing Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway 
after a long struggle with Mr. MacRae's grandson over the Parkway's 
location. The engineers wanted to carve the road deeply into the slopes of 
Grandfather Mountain, a proposed action which the mountain's owner, 
who is not really a wordsmith, found words for. It would be, said Hugh 
Morton, like "taking a switchblade to the Mona Lisa." 

The battle went on for years, for decades. Finally, the bureaucrats, 
knowing when they were beaten, heaved a great bureaucratic sigh and 
withdrew the blasting crews and the bulldozers, designing instead a 
highway engineering marvel which skirts Hugh Morton's mountain, but 
does not touch a leaf or a bloom or a stone of it. The Mona Lisa is safe. 

Young Hugh Morton spent every winter in Wilmington, and every 
summer in Linville, passing a sweet boyhood in the two prettiest parts of 
the state, in the lap of a happy and prosperous family. He might have been 
content to merely play at life while awaiting his real estate inheritance, but 
for what happened at Camp Yonahnoka. He was 13, and a camp counselor 
put a camera into his hand. Summers in the mountains became adventures 
in photography. 

He took his new-found skill and his newly acquired Speed Graphic 
along with him to Chapel Hill, and immediately made himself indispens- 
able to the Daily Tar Heel, Yackety-Yack, Carolina Magazine, and such 
nearly forgotten publications as the Buccaneer and Tar and Teathers. And 
here in Chapel Hill, in 1939, was born the little line of 8-point type 
enclosed in parentheses with which careful readers of the state's newspapers 
have been familiar for more than fifty years: "Photo by Hugh Morton." 
He made photographs, mostly photographs of Tar Heel sports heroes, for 
the Charlotte News, Charlotte Observer, Greensboro Daily News, Durham 
Herald, and Winston-Salem Journal. He made photographs for the 
Associated Press, and Time, and Esquire. As an undergraduate he was 
making fifty dollars a week in a time when not many graduates of the 
University could claim such splendid compensation. "What distinguished 
me as a photographer," Hugh Morton once said, "was that I knew how to 
take my pictures to the mailbox." 

But he also made a habit of keeping copies of his pictures for 
himself. And another thing that distinguishes him as a photographer is that 


he knows where to find them. He is inhabited by a no-doubt inherited 
impulse of Scottish thrift and order, and given a minute or two, he can lay 
his hands on any of his tens of thousands of slides and prints and negatives 
going back more than sixty years. He is the despair of all the rest of us 
who make pictures, who may even have made some good pictures, but can't 
prove it, because we no longer have any idea where they are. 

We were treated to 80 of Hugh's photographs this afternoon. In 
1989, with Ed Rankin, he published 400 of them in the book, Making a 
Difference in North Carolina, and we have it on the authority of both of 
them this evening that the photographer and the author wrangled for 
months over how to edit the pictures down to a mere 400. In reviewing 
this book at the time, the first thing H. G. Jones did was put it on a scale. 
The reviewer's verdict: Six and a quarter pounds. "The book of the year," 
Dr. Jones concluded, "for those with a very sturdy coffee table." 

That was a fascinating hour with Hugh this afternoon; however, as 
he told us, and as you noticed, and against the advice of Julia Morton, 
Hugh showed us only a very few of his nature pictures. In that, we were 
short-changed a little. I thought Hugh would have learned by now that he 
should always follow Julia's advice. His photographs of fall foliage and 
spring wildflowers, of the fawn in the mist and the stag at the pond, are his 
enduring masterpieces, the ones that put him in the front rank of our 
American photographers and that will live on after all of us are gone. 
Anyway, as Julia knows if Hugh doesn't, deer and dogwoods and daffodils 
are subjects every bit as appealing as politicians and athletes — even 
Democratic politicians, even athletes wearing uniforms in Carolina blue. 
But it was Hugh's slide show, full of Hugh's enthusiasms, and I recognize 
that on the scale of Hugh's enthusiasms, certain human beings — Luther 
Hodges, Dean Smith, Ed Rankin, Bill Friday — rank very highly, way up 
there in fact, just below his own father, and Mildred the Bear. 

In 1942, Hugh Morton was the unanimous choice of his fellow 
students on the Yackety-Yack staff to be editor the following year. But the 
following year, he found himself a long way from Chapel Hill, on the 
islands of New Caledonia, Bougainville, Guadalcanal, as a combat motion 
picture photographer in the Signal Corps. Tech Sergeant Morton took 
seriously the "combat" part of his job description. Once, seeking combat 
footage, he drove his jeep behind Japanese lines on a mountain road on 
Luzon; of course, he didn't know he was behind Japanese lines until he 
looked around and noticed that he was all alone up there. He believes he 
was being watched by a thousand pair of Japanese eyes, and that the only 
reason he was not shot dead was that the Japanese figured one GI in a jeep 
must be some kind of trick. He turned around, went down the mountain 
hurriedly, and came out of that military indiscretion unscathed. 


The next time, he wasn't so lucky. He and the infantry company 
he was filming were ambushed at the mouth of an enemy-occupied cave. 
An explosion destroyed Sgt. Morton's camera, filled him full of rocks and 
shrapnel, wrapped him in bandages from head to toe, won him the Purple 
Heart to go with his Bronze Star, and sent him home from Luzon in the 
Pacific to Wilmington on the Atlantic. From that experience, he still has 
some big dents in his body, and that one little scar on his chin, which gives 
his face character, but which he would just as soon have avoided at the 

Back home in Wilmington, Hugh's sister, Agnes, who was attending 
the Woman's College in Greensboro, brought her roommate home with 
her for the weekend. This bright, pretty, impressionable girl proved to be 
a sucker for a war hero in bandages. Hugh Morton and Julia Hathaway 
Taylor were married December 8th, 1945. 

What Hugh got was the most charming and engaging woman it has 
been the privilege of many of us to know. She has everything he hasn't — a 
personality, for example. Hugh is reserved; Julia is effervescent. Hugh is 
stubborn; Julia is conciliatory. Hugh suffers sometimes a small knot in the 
tongue; Julia is eloquent. Hugh sorts of clumps along through life; Julia is 
the soul of grace. She sees something in him, however. They have four 
children, each of whom has inherited the best features of the two of them. 
Of each, I, for one, am exceedingly fond. And some of us were here in 
Chapel Hill in December when Julia and Hugh celebrated their fiftieth 
wedding anniversary, a happy night among old friends — "old," I am afraid, 
being the operative word for the celebrants. All except Julia. 

Hugh's great delight, as we all know, is in bringing crowds of people 
together. He started early, in his twenties in Wilmington, by creating the 
first Azalea Festival. Why? "Well," he said, "we had all these azaleas, and 
nobody to see them but us." Millions have seen them since. The Azalea 
Festival is approaching its fiftieth year as the greatest single tourist 
attraction in eastern North Carolina. 

It is rivalled by the greatest single tourist attraction in western 
North Carolina, the annual "Singin' on the Mountain." I do not have to 
tell you which mountain. 

Then there is the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games 
and Gathering of the Scottish Clans, which must be seen to be believed. 
Powerful men wearing skirts compete in tossing telephone poles about. 
Who can explain such a thing? It is Scottish. 

Hugh Morton successfully brought hang gliders to soar off his 
mountain, and sports cars to race up it, and golfers to tee up at the top and 
drive their balls, as golfers like to say, a country mile. Hugh gave the 
mountain its billionth birthday party, never conceding that he might be off 


a few millennia, with mile-high fireworks and a mile-high birthday cake. 
Of course, people came. Who knew when a billionth birthday party would 
come again? 

But all his famous stage-managing cannot match the importance of 
his quiet, determined, persistent, and serious efforts to preserve the beauty 
of North Carolina. You know those banks of wildflowers that are 
blooming now along our highways? They are beautiful. They came about 
largely because Hugh Morton photographed the wildflowers inspired by 
Lady Bird Johnson beside Texas's roads and sent these pictures to North 
Carolina's First Lady of the time, Dottie Martin. Hugh always has been 
a photographer who knew the way to the mailbox. 

Visible from the slopes of Grandfather, visible, in fact, for many 
miles in every direction, is a singularly massive and ugly structure atop a 
neighboring mountain. It is a condominium which intrudes upon the 
natural beauty of three counties. It has the effect of a shouted profanity in 
the midst of a Chopin nocturne. The building deserves to be dynamited, 
and it is so widely and cordially despised that in the fullness of time, some 
dark night, it may be dynamited. In the meantime, thanks to Hugh 
Morton, it will not, at least, be duplicated. The state's highest peaks are 
now protected by the Ridge Law, which prohibits such monstrosities. All 
Hugh had to do was bring the legislators to have a look, and they went 
back to Raleigh and voted his way — not for him, but for all of us. Hugh's 
place in the history of North Carolina would be secure if he had done 
nothing else but secure the passage of the Ridge Law. 

But he has done much else. Hugh's mountain is amazing for its 
biological diversity. One standing atop Grandfather Mountain can look 
down and see a greater variety of growing things than exists in all of 
Europe, from the Scandinavian Capes to the shores of the Mediterranean. 
More than 190 species of plants exist on the mountain's slopes and peaks, 
including ten that are globally imperiled, including a few that grow almost 
nowhere else on earth. Hugh guards this diversity fiercely. He is even 
involved in a major effort to bring back the American chestnut, once the 
most widespread and most useful of our mountain trees. Hugh's 
stewardship of the mountain led him to a decision to place most of it under 
the protection of the Nature Conservancy. That land, thanks to Hugh, 
will remain forever wild. There will never be a reason for Grandfather 
Mountain's 147 species of birds to seek another home. The United Nations 
has honored Hugh's accomplishments by designating Grandfather Mountain 
an International Biosphere Reserve, the first privately owned one in the 
world. No other place in the southern Appalachians is so well cared for 
as Hugh Morton's mountain. 

But all is not well in the high country. Acid clouds drifting in from 


the industrial midwest have killed thousands of acres of spruce and fir trees 
at the higher elevations. Hugh Morton has made himself as well-informed 
on acid rain as anybody in the country. He produced a mighty slide show 
and took it to any group that would sit still and watch it. He produced an 
hour for PBS, "The Search for Clean Air," narrated by Walter Cronkite. 
This is the single most damning document of the clean air struggle. It 
shows the top of Mt. Mitchell as photographed by Hugh Morton years ago, 
verdant and lush, and the top of Mt. Mitchell today, devastated and bare. 
Testimony is offered that the acid content of the soil up there tests out at 
halfway between that of lemon juice and battery acid. This makes Hugh 
mad, and it set him to work. If the acid haze of the Blue Ridge ever clears, 
it will be because Hugh Morton got mad. 

Years ago, Hugh received from the hand of Governor Hunt the 
North Carolina Award, the state's highest honor. Just in recent months he 
has been awarded the Citation for Distinguished Public Service of the 
North Carolina Citizens in Business and Industry, and named Citizen of 
the Carolinas by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. When organiza- 
tions like those, whose members include a few certifiable polluters of the 
environment, start honoring a man who is our most determined defender 
of the environment, you know North Carolina is changing. 

He is 75 now. He admits that after an hour of crouching with his 
camera behind the backboards at Tar Heel basketball games in the Dean 
Dome — and he crouched there at every game again last season — his knees do 
not lift him to his feet as readily as they used to. 

But if there are any signs that Hugh Morton is slowing down, his 
friends have not noticed. His has already been about as useful a life in the 
service of North Carolina as any ever lived, and he just goes on and on. 
There are ideas that he hasn't thought of yet. But he will think of them. 
We will all know it when he does. He will send us photographs. 

This is exciting to contemplate. North Carolina will be the 
beneficiary, as it always is when Hugh swings into action. His placid 
demeanor will not change; it never changes. But we know him well 
enough to know that deep inside, Hugh Morton in the grip of a new idea 
is like that bridge of his— a mile high, and swinging. 


Presentation of the Award 

Willis P. Whichard 

Ed Rankin, Bill Friday, and Charles Kuralt: Thank you so much 
for both enlightening and entertaining us with your well-chosen words of 
praise for our friend and honoree. 

The Society is indebted to John and Ann Sanders for locating and 
assisting in the acquisition of the historic sterling cup representing the 
North Caroliniana Society Award. The cup, which sits before you tonight, 
normally resides in a case especially designed by John and Ann and 
displayed in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room. The name of 
each year's recipient is engraved on a sterling plate that sits beside the cup, 
and we invite you all to visit the North Carolina Collection in Wilson 
Library and see the handsome ensemble. 

We give to the recipient each year a simple sterling goblet to 
symbolize the award, and I will ask Hugh Morton if he will step forward 
at this time and accept the award and make such remarks as he wishes. 
Congratulations, Hugh. 

Acceptance of the Award 

Hugh MacRae Morton 

Willis, thank you and the North Caroliniana Society very much. 
I think all of you have probably decided by now that I don't have three 
better friends on this earth than Ed Rankin, Bill Friday, and Charles 

I don't know how to respond to their comments. There was no 
way for me to prepare remarks because I did not know what would happen 
tonight, particularly after what Charles did to me at the 40th anniversary 
of the swinging bridge when he told everybody that we really were not 
there to celebrate a mile-high swinging bridge but an 80-foot-high tethered 

I am glad H. G. mentioned some of the many things that Ed Rankin 
has done. I don't think there is anybody who knows more about state 
government in North Carolina than he does, having been close to three 
governors and then executive director of the Broadcasters Association, then 
vice-president of Cannon Mills in charge of public relations. There is 
nobody more qualified to write about North Carolina, and I was thankful 
that he agreed to work with me on the book, Making a Difference in North 

Bill Friday — I do not have to tell any of you — is probably the most 
respected person in our nation, not just North Carolina, in the field of 
higher education. To have had him as a friend over the years has meant a 
whole lot to me. 

And as I said this afternoon, I don't believe there is any more loved 
and trusted television news personality in our country than Charles Kuralt. 

To hear them say what they said means so much to me, and I thank 
them and all of you who had anything to do with selecting me for this 
particular honor. 

By the way, some other awards that have come my way were 
mentioned. Do you know how these things come about? You stack the 
committees with your friends. That is what happened in three instances: 



In Charlotte, Bill Grigg, who is here tonight, and Johnny Harris were on 
the committee; in Raleigh, Phil Kirk and John McNairy were on the 
Citizens for Business and Industry committee; and here in the North 
Caroliniana Society, Willis and several other friends were on the board. So 
that's the way it works, and if any of you want an award, stack the 
committees with your friends! 

Thank all of you ever so much for this honor and for your presence. 
Tonight really has been great for me. 




Edward L Rankin, Jr., and William C. Friday, long-time friends of doe North Caroliniana 
Society Award recipient, presented their tributes to Hugh Morton. Friday saluted Julia Morton 
as the greatest single influence upon her husband. 



The main speaker of the evening was Charles Kuralt, who traced Morton's career from the time 
when, at age 13, he was given his first camera. He concluded, "Hugh Morton in the grip of 
a new idea is like that bridge of his— a mile high, and swinging. " 



Hugh Morton receives congratulations from friends. Left to right, top to bottom: Paul Hardin, 
Charlie and Nancy Gaddy, Jim Heavner, John Sanders, Charles Shaffer, Bill Grigg, Clifton 
Metcalf, and Bill Little. 



More congratulations. Left to right, top to bottom: Judy and Tim Taft, Donald Boulton, 
Arthur Clark, Pranklin Clark, Barbara and Woody Marshall, Gladys Coates, Marie Colton, 
and Margaret Ann Grigg. 



Michael and Carmen Hooker take turns greeting Julia Morton, then chat with a friend; H. G. 
Jones welcomes William Cecil; Jim Kofalt, Bill Grigg, and Paul Hardin; Bob Anthony, Eileen 
McGrath, and Tom Tiemann; Wallace Kuralt and Rhoda Wynn; and Harry and Mary Gatton. 



Charles helps fix Jim Jenkins's camera, ther. talks with Tom and Linda Howe, Ed 
Rankin, and Ann and John Sanders; other friends chat— Mary and Jim Semans and Anne Hill; 
Mary Jane and Douglass Hunt and Bob Anthony; John Sanders and H. G. Jones; and Fran 
Rankin and Memory Mitchell. 

The North Caroliniana Society, Inc. 

North Carolina Collection 

Wilson Library, UNC Campus Box 3930 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-8890 

Chartered on 11 September 1975 as a private nonprofit corporation under provisions of Chapter 
55A of the General Statutes of North Carolina, the North Caroliniana Society is dedicated to the promotion 
of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina's heritage. This it accomplishes in a variety of 
ways: encouragement of scholarly research and writing in and teaching of state and local history; publication 
of documentary materials, including the numbered, limited-edition North Caroliniana Society Imprints and 
North Caroliniana Society Keepsakes; sponsorship of professional and lay conferences, seminars, lectures, and 
exhibitions; commemoration of historic events, including sponsorship of markers and plaques; and, especially, 
through assistance to the North Carolina Collection and North Carolina Collection Gallery of the 
University of North Carolina Library and other cultural organizations with kindred objectives. 

Incorporated by H. G. Jones, William S. Powell, and Louis M. Connor, Jr., who soon were joined 
by a distingushed group of North Carolinians, the Society was limited to one hundred members for the first 
decade. It elects from time to time additional individuals meeting its strict criterion of "adjudged 
performance" in service to their state's culture— i.e., those who have demonstrated a continuing interest in 
and support of the historical, literary, and cultural heritage of North Carolina. The Society, a tax-exempt 
organization under provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, expects service rather than 
dues. For its programs, it depends upon the contributions, bequests, and devises of its members and friends. 
Its IRS number is 56-1119848. Upon request, contributions to the Society may be counted toward 
Chancellor's Club membership. The Society administers the Archie K. Davis Fund, given in 1987 by the 
Research Triangle Foundation in honor of its retiring board chairman and the Society's longtime president. 

A highlight of the Society's year is the presentation of the North Caroliniana Society Award to 
individuals or organizations for long and distinguished service in the encouragement, production, 
enhancement, promotion, and preservation of North Caroliniana. Starting with Paul Green, the Society has 
recognized Tar Heels such as Albert Coates, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Sam Ragan, Gertrude S. Carraway, John Fries 
Blair, William and Ida Friday, William S. Powell, Mary and James Semans, David Stick, William M. 
Cochrane, Emma Neal Morrison, Burke Davis, Lawrence F. London, Frank H. Kenan, Charles Kuralt, 
Archie K. Davis, H. G. Jones, J. Carlyle Sitterson, Leroy T. Walker, Hugh M. Morton, and the North 
Carolina Collection (on its sesquicentennial). 

The Society has its headquarters in the North Carolina Collection, the "Conscience of North 
Carolina," which seeks to preserve for present and future generations all that has been or is published by 
North Carolinians regardless of subject or language and about North Carolina and North Carolinians 
regardless of author or source. In this mission the Collection's clientele is broader than the University 
community; indeed, it is the entire citizenry of North Carolina as well as those outside the state whose 
research extends to North Carolina or North Carolinians. Members of the North Caroliniana Society share 
a very special relationship to this unique Collection that traces its beginnings back to 1844 and stands 
unchallenged as the largest and most comprehensive repository in America of published materials relating 
to a single state. The North Carolina Collection Gallery, opened in 1988, adds exhibition and interpretive 
dimensions to the Collection's traditional services. These combined resources fulfill the vision of President 
David L. Swain (1801-1868), who founded the Collection; Librarian Louis Round Wilson (1876-1979), who 
nurtured it; and Philanthropist John Sprunt Hill (1869-1961), who generously endowed it. All North 
Carolinians are enriched by this precious legacy. A leaflet on the Collection is available without charge. 


Willis P. Whichard, President 

Archie K. Davis and William C. Friday, Presidents Emeriti 

William S. Powell, Vice-President 

H. G. Jones, Secretary-Treasurer 

H. David Bruton, William McWhorter Cochrane, Betty A. Hodges, Dana Borden Lacy, 

Henry W. Lewis, Nancy Cobb Lilly, W. Trent Ragland, Jr., John L. Sanders, and William D. Snider 

H. G. Jones, General Editor 

[continued from inside front cover] 

No. 15. A Half Century in Coastal History (1987) 
by David Stick 

No. 16. Thomas Wolfe at Eighty-seven (1988) 
edited by H. G. Jones- 
No. 17. A Third of a Century in Senate Cloakrooms (1988) 
by William McWhorter Cochrane 

No. 18. The Emma Neal Morrison I Know (1989) 
by Ida Howell Friday 

No. 19. Thomas Wolfe's Composition Books (1990) 
edited by Alice R. Cotten 

No. 20. My Father, Burke Davis (1990) 
by Angela Davis-Gardner 

No. 21. A Half Century with Rare Books (1991) 
by Lawrence F. London 

No. 22. Frank H. Kenan: An Appreciation (1992) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 23. Growing Up in North Carolina, by Charles Kuralt and 
Tloe Uncommon Laureate, by Wallace H. Kuralt, Jr. (1993) 

No. 24. Chancellors Extraordinary: f. Carlyle Sitterson and LeRoy T. Walker (1995) 
by William C. Friday and Willis P. Whichard 

No. 25. Historical Consciousness in the Early Republic (1995) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 26. Sixty Years with a Camera (1996) 
by Hugh M. Morton 

745 flE* L 5]5 

04/25/97 32596